The Exorcism comes to theatres: From The Rite to The Wailing, possession films to watch ahead of Russell Crowe starrer - Hindustan Times
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The Exorcism comes to theatres: From The Rite to The Wailing, possession films to watch ahead of Russell Crowe starrer

ByAalokitaa Basu
Jun 21, 2024 03:44 PM IST

Russell Crowe's The Exorcism will be hitting screens today, June 21. Here's a binge list of possession-themed movies to get you a head start on the chills

Russell Crowe's second innings as an actor has seen him explore the dark side of cinema, 2020 road rage film Unhinged being an example of this. Last year, the actor featured in Julius Avery's horror film The Pope's Exorcist. Russell though, doesn't seem to have gotten his fill from the genre yet. He is set to return to screens this Friday with a brand new horror flick, Joshua John Miller's The Exorcism. Ahead of the same, here is a possession-fueled horror binge watch list for your consideration.

Russell Crowe's The Exorcism is releasing in theatres on June 21
Russell Crowe's The Exorcism is releasing in theatres on June 21

The Exorcist (1973)

No mention of possession in fiction is ever complete without at least a brief nod to the iconic 1973 release, The Exorcist. The Exorcist actually set the ball rolling on an expansive legacy of the horror genre carving a place for itself in mainstream cinema. Starring Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow in the lead, the film follows a 12-year-old girl's debilitating descent into possession as a priest attempts to exorcise her while grappling with his own waning faith.

The success of the film birthed a expansive franchise spanning 5 more titles — none however, were as successful as the original. A sixth title with Mike Flanagan at the reigns is currently under works. The film will be hitting theatres in March 2026.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

Arguably the second most popular title that comes up while delving into exorcism in cinema, The Exorcism of Emily Rose released back in 2005. The film manages to effectively showcase the rather complicated and real overlap of possession and mental illness. While Emily's (played by Jennifer Carpenter) priest Reverend Moore is convinced that they were dealing with a demonic entity, his claims are contested in court by the prosecutor who insists the young woman was actually suffering from schizophrenia and was denied proper care resulting in her death.

Upon release, the film enjoyed a rather positive reception at the box office, minting upwards of $145 million against a budget of under $20 million.

The Rite (2011)

Anthony Hopkins leads Mikael Håfström's The Rite. The 2011 release features Conor O'Donogue in the role of Michael Kovak, a skeptical mortician whose faith stands revised when he gets the opportunity to perform an exorcism in Rome. Anthony Hopkins of course steals the show as Father Lucas. The second half of the film carrying his exorcism is an intense watch, making for an artful example of well-crafted horror.

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

Scott Derrickson's Deliver Us from Evil makes for one of the lesser-known gems when it comes to the horror genre. The film manages to effectively highlight the impact of possession as opposed to just focusing on the mandatory exorcism montage. A series of aggressive and odd occurrences — for instance, a mother knowingly throwing her baby into a lion enclosure at the zoo, prompt NYPD special-ops duo Ralph Sarchie and Butler to start digging into what may be the cause.

Deliver Us from Evil enjoys an appreciable reputation among fans of horror for carrying a significantly different approach when it comes to the theme of possession.

The Wailing (2016)

South Korean horror film The Wailing released in 2016. Directed by Na-Hong jin, the film shows the descent of a quaint village into disease and death following the arrival of a mysterious Japanese man with his dog. If you are yet to commence your dabble with international horror, The Wailing is the perfect entry point to acquaint yourself with the very different yet equally if not more terrifying cinematic aesthetic of the horror genre beyond the 'mainstream'.

Are you excited to watch Russell Crowe back in action?

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